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With government offices closed as virus spreads, weddings return to Honda Center – Orange County Register

Concerts, rodeos and hockey games are still on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but weddings are back on at the Honda Center, where county workers will issue marriage licenses – and for those who wish it, perform the ceremony – from the safety of the arena’s box office.

With his public offices closed to prevent the spread of the virus, Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen started offering marriage services in the Honda Center parking lot in April, originally putting his staff behind glass in ticket booths borrowed from the OC Fair & Event Center.

County offices began reopening in June, but rising COVID-19 case counts led officials to shutter them again by late June. But that hasn’t stop determined couples – so far more than 3,900 marriage licenses have been issued and more than 2,500 civil ceremonies were performed outside the Honda Center.

The appointment-only services returned on Thursday, July 30, with more than 150 couples scheduled that day.

“COVID-19 numbers are not getting better and demand for marriage services isn’t slowing down,”Nguyen said in a news release.

“Most of our neighboring county clerk-recorders have closed their offices, which will likely lead to an increase in demand for marriage services here in Orange County,” he said. “I am very grateful that Honda Center can accommodate us once again.”

Arena officials were glad to be of service, as was their namesake automaker, which lent a flower-decorated 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid as a photo backdrop for happy couples.

“Since closing in March, we have looked for ways to utilize the exterior of Honda Center,” Honda Center Chief Executive Officer Tim Ryan said in a statement. “We are thrilled marriage services will resume at Honda Center and hopefully offer some joy to couples whose plans have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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